The pandemic has fundamentally altered how people interact with the world around them – how they live, work, play, and purchase. For some businesses, adjusting to these changes has been difficult or impossible. Luckily, the real estate sector has the tools not only to survive but to thrive during these times.
Virtual reality (VR) technology creates a simulated environment with scenes, objects and elements that appear real, allowing home builders and realtors to showcase a property and adapt to a changing world with ease. Let’s dive into five reasons why VR technology is disrupting the real estate sector during the pandemic.
1 Customers’ can explore homes remotely.
In an age when working from home has become normalised, VR technologies allow the real estate industry to provide customers with an experience as close to what they were accustomed to before the pandemic. Many home buyers desire to see their prospective home in life-size form, a limitation that has become overwhelmingly apparent during the stay-at-home restrictions in place during 2020 and 2021.
According to the Australian Institute of Family Studies at the beginning of the pandemic, 67 per cent of Australians reported working from home. While those numbers have decreased as Australia gradually opens up again, the pandemic has fundamentally changed how people view remote buying experiences. Before the pandemic, potential buyers invested time and energy into visiting the physical location of properties. However, this has significantly changed with the necessity of social distancing, limiting contact with others, and the introduction of new technology to allow remote viewings.
Virtual viewings (also known as virtual property showcases) allow home buyers to visit multiple off the plan properties without leaving their home. Buyers can now put on a VR headset or use a smart device (tablet or phone) and visit any off the plan property listing in an agency’s catalogue. They can view the property as a more traditional tour simply by clicking on the screen and navigating throughout the property. Alternatively, they can walk around the property in 1:1 scale using AR technology through their smart device, or they can put on a headset and explore it in VR, being completely immersed in the design.
They can choose to explore at their own pace with a solo viewing or experience a guided viewing conducted by a realtor or sales agent. Throughout the guided viewing the sales agent can control their movements in the property, talk to them through audio functionality, and compare colour schemes and floor plans with the click of a button. . The addition of 4K drone-scanned footage of the actual views into the VR experience has allowed home buyers to see what the actual view will look like, all from the comfort of their own home.
2 It’s cost-effective
There’s no denying the importance of staging a display home or display suite to bring the design to life. According to the National Association of Realtors, 82 percent of buyers agents reported staging a home makes it easier for buyers to visualise the property as their future home.
In comparison to traditional staging, virtual staging is a more cost-effective option. Within the virtual model, digital furnishings and decor elements in the form of high-resolution graphics can be applied to turn an empty room into a luxurious place buyers can imagine calling home. Alternative styling and furniture can also easily be created in the same design allowing buyers to see a range of styling options. No longer is it one style fits all!
3 It saves time
Property viewing can be a long and arduous task for both the clients and the realtor. In a world where restrictions have drastically impacted our ability to move around this traditional model is no longer viable.
Using virtual reality technology makes this process quicker, and now possible. Buyers can virtually tour any off the plan property from a developer or real estate agency’s listings. If buyers are interstate, overseas, or unable to travel with COVID restrictions they can now virtually experience all designs from their location.
Instead of visiting only three or four properties in a day, realtors can now show ten or more properties in a matter of minutes. This is also an excellent choice for off the plan property developers and home builders. They can offer clients different colour schemes, floorplans, home designs and layouts with only the click of a button. With the remote viewing functionality mentioned previously, they don’t have to be face to face with the buyer, expanding their markets and allowing them to continue selling no matter the restrictions.
4 Reach a global audience.
In a world that is becoming increasingly globalised, the real estate sector must communicate with and interest both local and international markets.
The Australian property market is huge and foreign investment makes up a significant portion. According to Statista , in 2020, foreign direct investment in the real estate sector in Australia amounted to 120 billion Australian dollars. This demonstrates not only the size of Australia’s property market, but the importance of appealing to potential international investors. Using VR technologies is an excellent way to connect foreign buyers with Australian properties without the need for travel.
While providing rendered images can engage the interest of clients, virtual 4K drone captured views of a property offer so much more. Through VR technology, clients can immerse themselves in the property, whether international borders remain open or closed.
Property agents can show a client in Hong Kong a property listing in Sydney’s Bondi Beach and another in Queensland’s Gold Coast, all within an hour. This can be achieved through both guided and private viewings.
5 Stand out from your competition
As a result of the pandemic, we as a global community have become more reliant on and engaged with new technology. According to Gartner Inc, 54 per cent of Australian and New Zealand organisations invested in digitally innovative technology during the pandemic.
While previous customers might have experienced hesitancy using new technologies, this is not the case anymore. Using VR technology, professionals in the real estate industry demonstrate that they are forward-thinking and willing to adapt to meet the needs of their clients. This gives off the plan realtors, property developers and home builders using VR technology an edge over their less technologically engaged competitors.
The pandemic has changed how real estate agents operate. EnvisionVR is here to provide solutions that allow the real estate sector to overcome the challenges of isolation, closed borders and social distancing. EnvisionVR not only solves current and demanding problems caused by the pandemic, but opens up a world of possibility and gives the chance to reach a wider audience. As the real estate sector looks toward the future, EnvisionVR is ready to give your business the edge needed to overcome the unknown and thrive.
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